Editorials Address Schwarzenegger’s Nurse Education Proposal
Two newspapers recently published editorials addressing Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) plan to provide $90 million in funding to expand state nursing programs.
The program aims to increase access to nurse education programs, recruit additional qualified instructors, develop interest in nursing through high school and college programs, encourage schools and hospitals to create joint programs and appropriate federal funds for education.
The state, community colleges, private organizations and health care groups would contribute equal amounts of funding to the program. Schwarzenegger would use $12 million annually in federal work force development funds for the program. Colleges would have to secure matching funds from the private entities to qualify for federal money (California Healthline, 4/14).
Summaries of the editorials appear below.
Riverside Press-Enterprise: Schwarzenegger's nursing education plan is a "constructive step" and a "sensible approach," but it will not end the state's nursing shortage, a Press-Enterprise editorial states. While the proposal targets the "pressing need" of increasing schools' ability to train nurses, the plan "skirts the central issue," that "[e]xpanding nursing education requires a steady, long-term monetary commitment for more classrooms, more equipment and more teachers," according to the editorial. The editorial states that Schwarzenegger "deserves credit" for "pressing for improvements on a scale that the state can afford," although the plan remains "incomplete" (Riverside Press-Enterprise, 4/15).
San Jose Mercury News: Schwarzenegger "took a big step" toward addressing the state's nurse shortage when he announced his proposal to expand nurse education, a Mercury News editorial states. According to the editorial, the "major obstacle" to increasing the number of nurses in the state "isn't a lack of students ready and willing to become nurses," but rather a lack of funding for nursing programs to hire instructors. According to the editorial, the proposal "should go a long way toward easing the pending shortfall (San Jose Mercury News, 4/18).
Schwarzenegger in his weekly radio address on Saturday discussed the state's nursing shortage and his efforts to expand nurse education (Schwarzenegger release, 4/16). The complete transcript of the address is available online. The complete address is available online in Windows Media.